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About this text

  • Title: Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)
  • Editor: Sonia Massai

  • Copyright Sonia Massai. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: William Shakespeare
    Editor: Sonia Massai
    Not Peer Reviewed

    Edward III (Quarto 1, 1596)

    The Raigne of King
    1815Will accept of nought but fire and sword,
    Except within these two daies sixe of them
    That are the welthiest marchaunts in the towne,
    Come naked all but for their linnen shirts,
    With each a halter hangd about his necke,
    1820And prostrate yeeld themselues vpon their knees,
    To be afflicted, hanged, or what I please,
    And so you may informe their masterships.
    Cap. Why this it is to trust a broken staffe.
    Had we not been perswaded Iohn our King,
    1825Would with his armie haue releeud the towne,
    We had not stood vpon defiance so:
    But now tis past that no man can recall,
    And better some do go to wrack then all.
    Enter Charles of Normandy and Villiers
    1830Ch: I wounder Villiers, thou shouldest importune me
    For one that is our deadly ennemie.
    Vil: Not for his sake my gratious Lord so much,
    Am I become an earnest aduocate,
    As that thereby my ransome will be quit,
    1835Ch: Thy ransome man: why needest thou talke of that?
    Art thou not free? and are not all occasions,
    That happen for aduantage of our foes,
    To be accepted of, and stood vpon?
    Vil: No good my Lord except the same be iust,
    1840For profit must with honor be comixt,
    Or else our actions are but scandalous:
    But letting passe these intricate obiections,
    Wilt please your highnes to subscribe or no?
    Ch. Villiers I will not, nor I cannot do it,
    1845Salisbury shall not haue his will so much,
    To clayme a pasport how it pleaseth himselfe,
    Vil: Why then I know the extremitie my Loid,
    I must returne to prison whence I came,
    Ch. Returne, I hope thou wilt not,
    1850What bird that hath e(s)capt the fowlers gin,